Today is Equal Pay Day.

Everywhere you look you see dire, enraging stats.

This year, Chamber of Mothers would like to propose some solutions, too thanks to some stellar advice from our co-founder and the founder of the @thefifthtrimester Lauren Smith Brody.

First, some enraging stats: 

  • March 12th represents how many additional days into 2024 women have to work to earn the same as men did last year.
  • Women are paid 84 cents on the dollar compared to men. 
  • For Black women, Equal Pay Day is still months away, July 9. AAPI women are April 3rd. Latina women are October 3th. Native women — aren’t made whole until November 21st. 
  • Mom’s Equal Pay Day is August 7th. And that tracks, because 80% of the gender wage gap can be attributed to the Motherhood Penalty. (The other 20% is due to occupational segregation, and direct racism and sexism.)

Are you a woman who is:

🙄 overdue for a raise

🙅‍♀️ asked to do free labor

👎 paid less than the men you work with

💸 losing money from your bonus, comissions, or having your paycheck pro-rated

👩‍👧‍👦 technically paid $0 but doing the world’s most important work

Then use these scripts to close your pay gap.

If You’re Overdue for a Raise

The situation: Shrinkflation has come for your paycheck, and your employer has not kept pace with increases in the cost of living, market pay rates, and/or the value of the work product you’re delivering. Do some research, paying attention to your company’s overall performance, comparable roles elsewhere, and your specific job description vs. what you’ve delivered. Also, have a plan B already in mind for if they say no; for instance, offering to set specific goals to be reviewed in six months (which also gives you time to network and start looking around just in case).

Then say 👉

“Over the past year, I have delivered X, Y, Z over and above the work I did in previous years, and I’d like to request a review of my compensation to account for the increased value of my work.”

If you’re asked to do free labor

The situation: You’re a very nice person (of course you are!) and people keep asking you to…review their resume…let them pick your brain…be on a panel discussion that requires three hours of prep, pays $0, and actually maybe even costs you money in lost other work or babysitting fees, but, hey, it’s “amazing exposure!!” Remember, you are still a very nice person, just one who will only stay that way if she doesn’t burn out, freak out, and become resentful.

And then say 👉

“I hate saying no, but right now, I’m saving all of my unpaid time for X cause. I’m also trying to be better about pointing out unpaid labor when I see it — not to be rude but to help all women claim the value of our time so we don’t perpetuate the pay gap.”

If you’re paid less than the men you work with

The situation: You spied with your little eye, a paystub belonging to your same-level male colleague (or maybe he just told you ’cause he’s a good person that way), and you’re paid less than he is for the same exact work. We asked @themamattorney Daphne Delvaux for her advice about what to say to your manager.

Say this 👉

“I’ve recently learned my pay is not on par with my male counterparts. Can you please conduct a pay audit to bring my pay on par with my peers?”

If your bonus or commission has been cut, or your paycheck has been pro-rated

The situation: Your employer offers some paid leave (hooray!), but only on base pay (boo), and your bonus is pro-rated, or your maternity leave is smack in the middle of the busiest season for commissions, or the deal you’ve worked on for two years closes the week after you give birth…or or or whatever the exact scenario, you’re still missing a big chunk of your total compensation. Assume their ignorance and good intentions.

And then say this 👉

“I’m so proud that we have paid maternity leave here, not just because it’s the right thing to do but because it’s got a proven R.O.I. for our business. I want to offer myself up as an example of how the policy may not be fully meeting its intentions and see what we can do to make my compensation whole.”

If “mom” is your main career right now — so you earn $0

And yet, there’s someone in your life who acts like your time is expendable, you should take on every volunteer shift or household task, you are “supported” by a partner’s income, and/or you just generally “don’t work.” We asked Chamber of Mothers co-founder Kelsey Haywood Lucas, the writer/journalist behind @motherspeak and co-founder of @twotruthsmotherhood, for her advice.

To say and do this 👉

“Mothering is a highly skilled, intellectual, and invaluable form of labor. It’s a role that deserves the same amount of respect as any career.” [Then, draw a boundary or state what you need; whether it’s saying “no” to a creep on your time, or reminding a partner that their salary is made possible by your labor; and therefore, it’s your family’s shared salary.]